The United Nations refugee chief says the number of people fleeing Russia’s advance into Ukraine has reached 2 million.
Filippo Grandi, the UN’s high commissioner for refugees, made his remarks at a press conference in Oslo after visiting Moldova, Poland and Romania, all of which have received refugees pouring across the border from Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on February 24.
Mr. Grandi said that, by comparison, the Balkan wars in Bosnia and Kosovo saw “maybe 2 to 3 million people, but over a period of eight years.”
While other parts of the “world have seen this,” Mr. Grandi said, “in Europe, it’s the first time since the Second World War.”
On March 7, the UN high commissioner for refugees put the number of refugees at more than 1.7 million.
Meanwhile, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has called for civilians trapped in numerous war zones in Ukraine to be allowed to leave safely.
In a speech to the Human Rights Council, Ms. Bachelet said that reports received by her office claim that pro-Ukrainian activists have been unlawfully detained in the eastern areas of Ukraine that are under the control of Moscow-backed separatists, while people considered pro-Russian have been beaten in Ukraine.
“I repeat my urgent call for a peaceful end to hostilities,” Ms. Bachelet told the Geneva-based organization by video message.
(Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP and AP)
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